2021 Canadian Championship — Quarterfinal Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC September 22, 2021 at 8:00pm MT/10:00 pm ET ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here


Pacific FC and Cavalry FC will butt heads once again Wednesday – this time for a spot in the semi-finals of the 2021 Canadian Championship at ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. The Tridents (36pts, 10-6-3) and the Cavs (32 pts, 9-5-4) sit top of the CPL standings and have developed a "brewing rivalry" (more on that later) that's set to be ported to Canada's cup competition at just the right time. Pacific arrive at the quarterfinal stage after dispatching none other than provincial rival Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 at Starlight Stadium. It was, by some margin, the club's biggest achievement as many former players – including goalscorers Terran Campbell and Josh Heard – upset their MLS neighbours on a special August night on Vancouver Island. Since then, Pa-Modou Kah's side has maintained their top-of-the-table pace, posting three wins and two draws – including a 3-1 dispatching of the Cavs last week and a 1-1 draw with Atlético Ottawa on Sunday. Cavalry, meanwhile, earned a bye to the quarterfinal due to their semi-final appearance in the 2019 tournament – in which they too beat the 'Caps in the CanChamp's first true "cupset." Tommy Wheeldon Jr.'s group arrives home amid a seven-game league roadtrip with a 1-1 draw to Valour FC on Saturday their last bit of action. "Both teams are chasing each other, and the games that we always play, have been very exciting," Pacific coach Kah said. "You also have the two teams that both knocked out the Whitecaps go against each other – that's a beautiful thing." Cavalry and Pacific met in the 2019 version of the CanChamp, with the Cavs winning 4-1 on aggregate. They went on to beat Forge FC and, as mentioned, the Whitecaps in a run that ended at the semi-final stage. The winner of this tie will play the victor of the all-Toronto tie between York United and Toronto FC of MLS earlier in the evening (7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT).

RELATED: Which CPL team is more likely to pull off CanChamp upset vs. MLS opponent?


  • Brewing rivalry between the two teams: What do you call the match between Cavalry-Pacific – a tilt we've seen four times already in a little over two months? When asked, PFC's Pa-Modou Kah, who won the Canadian Championship with the Whitecaps in 2015, referred to it simply as a brewing rivalry: "It's a brewing rivalry in a very positive way for the league both teams are at top of the table… The games we play are always exciting. We play each other all the time but it's still very still enjoyable." When asked the same question, Cavs coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. gave a similarly glowing review, adding: "These are two very competitive coaching staffs with an ambitious mindset… To be able to play is great preparation for what lies ahead," Wheeldon Jr. said, indirectly pointing to a potential CPL Final. Pacific is the only team to beat Cavalry since the clubs left the Winnipeg bubble, with the Cavs posting a 6-4-2 record that includes one win, one draw and two losses to PFC.​
  • Bustos 'in consideration' for the match: Eagle-eyed CPL fans (and Cavalry FC's coaching staff, probably) may have spotted Pacific FC Player of the Year candidate Marco Bustos on Pacific's Instagram stories as the club departed for Calgary. Bustos has been out for over the month with an injury, first being sidelined before the first-round match with the Whitecaps. Kah revealed before the match that the dynamic winger is "in consideration" for Wednesday's match, adding the team has ruled he's been training well in the match's run-up: "He's very happy he's coming along and today he trains so we'll see after that." The tricky left-footed inverted winger has scored five goals and leads the league with four assists – despite missing the last half-dozen league matches.​
  • Cavalry rejuvenated by return home: Rarely does Tommy Wheeldon Jr break from superlatives or neat sayings to reveal a first-thought in a press conference, but he did that Tuesday when asked about his team's return home to ATCO Field as they grind through a seven-match road trip. "It's been brilliant," Wheeldon Jr. said with relief. "It's two days where we're back home – there's something special about this place. Getting back home to play in front of our fans, see our families – is just the lift we need going into the business end of the season." The boost could also be attributed to the return of long-injured Elijah Adekugbe and Tom Field, both of whom joined training this week. Perhaps this time at home could be the difference for Wheeldon Jr.'s side?​


Cavalry FC wins: 4 || Pacific FC wins: 4 || Draws: 2


"I’ve seen this called the 'Battle of the 'Cap Slayers' and made me laugh because that's true… We're now facing against each other in what is a terrific seven-game series if you count the six league games. We know what's at the end of this game so I think you're gonna see a very entertaining game in what will be a great evening for Canadian football fans." – Cavalry FC coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.

"How our players manifest things, how they go about themselves together, has been fantastic. So, for me as a coach, I'm not trying to invent any new wheels – we know who we are and we know what we want to achieve. The players are in a very good place… I've already won the tournament – I have nothing to prove. I want to enjoy them from the sideline." – Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah

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